Thursday, November 4, 2010

Chinese Barbecued Pork

Although I have found the book with the muffin recipe, I'm still going to go ahead and type up the other America's Test Kitchen recipe first.  This one is from a dinner probably over a week ago.  (bad I know, but it was a lot of work to make, so I figure it will be a lot of work to type.)
Again, I liked the amount of detail in the recipe.  While it was an involved process, the book had pictures of the steps and that made it a lot easier to follow.  It also had nice tidbits of information on butchering pork butt, and even which hoisin sauce they liked the best and why.  Like I said in the last post.  Great book.  Wish I had time to sit and a lot more of it.  Another thing I liked is the section in each recipe warning you where things can go wrong.  Just a really well put together book.
I really want to try their waffles - they put rice crispies in them.  However, I can't make myself try a recipe with that much oil in the batter.  I may try throwing some rice crispies in my regular waffle recipe though - but I digress, back to the pork...
So, I liked this pork.  It was good.  I somehow expected it to have a bit sweeter of a flavor with the lovely color that it had.  It truly was a beautiful piece of meat - if meat can be beautiful that is.  DH loved this.  He actually said it reminded him of Chinese pork, but the stuff he has actually had in China, no at some Chinese restaurant here in the states.  I though that was one of the best compliments I could have gotten.  That and he actually ate the left overs.  Both are very good signs that the dish was worth my effort.  For me -not so much, probably because I did all the work at that awful time that is dinner cooking time when I have a toddler invariably pulling on my leg for something and 3 other boys running around needing something.  All can be quiet until I start to cook, then they all magically appear and need something.  Ahh, yet another digression, but really, it weighs into my score of the meal.  Drops 1-.5 off the meal if it was't super fabulous to be worth the time spent preparing it.  OK, enough rambling, on with the recipe.


  • 1 boneless pork shoulder roast (boston butt) 4 lbs 
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 6 Tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon five-spice powder
  • 1 Tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 Tablespoons grated fresh ginger (I used the stuff in a jar - gotta save some time somewhere.)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (used the jarred stuff again.)
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup honey
  1. Cut pork into 8 strips and remove excess fat.  I'm including a picture of what mine looked like.  (I had an 8 lb. bone in roast.  I used 1/2 to make this, and that half had no bone.)  The book had nice pictures on how to butcher your pork - it says they are usually 4 inches thick, but if thinner than 4 inches, cut into 6 pieces instead of 8.  Follow these steps
    1. Cut the roast in half lengthwise.
    2. Turn each half on its cut side and slice lengthwise to 4 equal pieces. 
    3. Trim away excess hard, waxy fat, leaving some fat to render while cooking.
  2. Prick the pork 10-12 times on each side.  (I totally forgot to do this - just the pricking, not the marinading.    I'm sure it would have only added to the flavor of the meat though, so don't forget it like I did.)  Place the pork in a large ziploc bag.  Combine the sugar, soy sauce, hoisin, sherry, pepper, five-spice powder, sesame oil, ginger, and garlic in a medium bowl.  Reserve 1/2 cup of the marinade.  Pour remaining marinade into the bag with the pork.  Press out as much air as possible; seal the bag.  Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 4 hours.
  3. (Recipe had you make the sauce right now, but I made it later, so that is where I'll put it.)  Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and place a wire rack on the pan.  Spray foil and rack with cooking spray.
  4. Remove pork from marinade, letting any excess drip off, and place on the wire rack.  Pour 1/4 cup water in the bottom of the pan.  Cover the pan with heavy duty foil, crimping edges tightly to seal.  Cook for 20 minutes.  Remove foil and continue to cook until edges of pork begin to brown - 40-45 minutes.  
  5. (This is when I made the glaze...)  Meanwhile, combine Ketchup and honey with reserved marinade in a small saucepan.  Cook over medium heat until syrupy and reduced to 1 cup.  (4-6 minutes.)
  6. Turn on the broiler.  Broil the pork until evenly caramelized 7-9 minutes.  Remove pan from oven and brush pork with 1/2 of the glaze.  Broil until deep mahogany color 3-5 minutes.   Flip the meat and repeat on the other side - broil for 7-9 minutes until caramelized - brush with sauce, broil 3-5 minutes.  Cool for at least 10 minutes, then cut into thin strips to serve.  (we just served these as they were - no thin strips.)  

A tip they gave that bears repeating - make sure you keep an eye on the meat when it is broiling.  You don't want to spend all this time for great meat and then turn it to charcoal.  It says don't use a drawer broiler - do they make those anymore?  My mom had one - anyway, the heat source is too close so just raise the oven temp to 500 and cook for 8-12 minutes then 6-8 minutes and repeat in step 5.

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